The robobpel is about to hit the water surface.  Photo: Harvard University
The robobpel is about to hit the water surface.
Photo: Harvard University

Researchers at Harvard University have taught the flying robot-bee to dive and move underwater. With a report on the work done, the authors spoke at the IROS 2015 conference ,  IEEE Spectrum retells the contents of the report briefly  .

A flying miniature robot weighing 100 milligrams moves in the air, moving its wings at a frequency of 120 hertz. Since for swimming, the same reciprocating motion with wings is quite suitable, as in flight, the researchers tried to reduce the frequency of the flies. It turned out that for swimming under water the frequency of wing movements in 9 hertz is most optimal. In this case, the robot retains full controllability and is able, as in the air, to move in any direction.

Unexpected problem was the light weight of the robot. Due to the surface tension of the water with a smooth landing, the robocoplet simply did not sink, so the researchers in the demonstration video “cut” a miniature maholet into the water surface. It is assumed that a similar problem will disappear when the robot moves with the battery on board (now the power is supplied via wires).

It is assumed that in future robots can be used for assistance in disaster areas or for military reconnaissance. In this case, most of the robots are unable to fully move in two environments. According to the developers, this makes the robocop, turning from an aircraft into an underwater, an attractive development.

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